Fire and ice. Sun and rain. Up and down. Black and white. Zigging and zagging.
Billy Beane and Dayton Moore. Beane zigged. Dayton tripped over the cord to the computer.
Beane did all the things at the trading deadline. Though the Athletics weren't technically involved in all trades, I bet Beane did that thing from the Moneyball movie in which he convinced other teams to do things. The only ones immune to Beane's charm were Dayton Moore himself and his bud Ruben Amaro, Jr. Not to be convinced of anything, Dayton decided to do his own thing at the trading deadline, which was no thing at all. We've got Scott Downs, Jason Frasor, and a bunch of cash considerations that I'm sure will be used to pick up some mediocre player in August that other teams struggled to trade away.
I'm likely in the minority on this, but I'm not terribly disappointed in the trading deadline inactivity. I believe Dayton was correct in saying that there weren't any players out there that could really help move the needle. There were opportunities on the margins (both Tommy Milone and Chris Denorfia were traded!), but I don't think Yoenis Cespedes is the guy that changes this team from mediocre to contender.
Of course, that's an indictment of his overall team building and developing skills. After 8 years, we really shouldn't be 4-5 players away from being legitimate contenders. For the rest of the season, you'll have to suspend your disbelief and assume that unicorns are real, dentists are not out to terrorize your mouth, and that Scott Hatteberg, after retirement, became a space outlaw named Peter "Starlord" Quill and figured out a way to reverse the aging process. And also got more in shape. Retained his charm, though.
Tonight, the Royals visit
the sewage system Oakland Alameda to ply their trade against a much better team. Jeremy Guthrie, he of almost the exact same FIP and xFIP as last year (which is to say, bad), squares off against Sonny Gray, one of those weird homegrown pitcher guys. At least that's something Beane and Dayton have in common; very few homegrown starting pitchers. Gray stifles home runs and gets a lot of ground balls, so I expect the Royals to do jack against Gray.
Here are your lineups for the west coast state of mind game:
Oakland-All our players are better than your players, so it doesn't matter.
Kansas City-All our players are just about to turn the corner and improve, after which their players will STILL be better than our players